On Sunday, July 15, 2018, Hamline’s Creative Writing Programs will host a Graduate Recognition ceremony to honor all the students who have completed their studies and will be receiving an MFA from Hamline University. 

We will be featuring our soon-to-be alumni as they look back on their time at Hamline University. Today’s new graduate is Trisha Parsons. She lives in Greeley, CO.

You can find her on ​Instagram​ and on The Introspective Salon blog​.

What do you do when you’re not working on packets?

I spend a lot of time with my family. I spend most of my​ time with my husband, Dominic and​ our Chihuahua-terrier mix, Scott. I like to go for nature walks and hikes and practice my skills at hand-lettering/calligraphy.

How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?

I was googling “low-residency” MFA programs, because my undergrad advisor had recommended them to me. I wanted a graduate program that wouldn’t require me to move away from my family.

What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?

My Granny recently gave me a copy of a poem I wrote her when I was 9 years old. I guess I’ve been writing since then. My spelling has much improved. I also had the privilege of working on a novel for my undergraduate thesis, even though I wasn’t a creative writing major.

What do you especially remember about your first residency?

My friend Kerry took a picture of me talking to Ron Koertge after a lecture​ and I felt proud of myself for not just hiding in my dorm​ during our free time.

Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction, graphic novel) or age group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try?

I have focused on novels. But I came in committed to YA contemporary and now I’m writing a contemporary middle-grade. I spent a semester on fantasy, too. I also tried very hard to wrap my head around sonnets when I worked with Ron Koertge. Neither my fantasy or my sonnets were really any good, but I tried! I’ve also tried picture books in my spare time. 

Tell us about your Creative Thesis.

It’s a contemporary upper-MG novel about a 12 year old boy, Frances, who lost his dad when he was 6 years old. He is starting to get curious about who his dad was so he asks his mom, but she answers his questions about his step-dad like she doesn’t know what Frances means. Frances does some investigating of his own and finds an article in his Mom’s things that reveals his dad to have been an abusive husband and a criminal. In the process of coping with this information and wondering what it means about his own destiny, he begins hanging out with some known troublemakers and fulfilling his own worries of being like his biological father. 

What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?

I have learned to be a more concise writer. I’ve learned to craft more compelling characters and relationship dynamics, and use those elements to facilitate plot. 

​Most surprisingly, ​I’ve learned that revising is actually where all the fun is!

Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?

​Y​ou’ll get out of the program what you put into it. If you work hard and challenge yourself, then you will have a much more rewarding experience at residencies and with your advisors. This is real! You’re really here with all these awesome published authors. You’re really here training to be a writer, so learn as much as you can!